Is It OK To Ask Guests To Take Off Their Shoes When Entering Your Home?

Three pairs of shoes placed on a mat

Is It OK To Ask Guests To Take Off Their Shoes When Entering Your Home?


There are many reasons to have a “no shoes” policy at your home.

Cleaner floors and better health are a couple of them.

The real question is: Is it OK or rude to ask guests to take off their shoes when entering your home?

I know this is a hard thing to ask. After all, you don’t want to make them feel like someone on their way through airport security. They are your guests, so you should make them feel welcome.

Here’s how to make sure both you and your guests feel good about your “no shoes” policy!


Give Advanced Warning


Maybe, warning is a hard word here: Hint or advice would be better.

Given that you’re the host, your job is to make them comfortable and welcome. So when they reach your door, asking them to remove their shoes might not feel that welcoming.

To avoid that, let them know before their coming that your home is a shoe-free place. When you’re telling them that, keep it friendly and light.

Read More: How To Add Personality To Your Home Decor


Give Them A Comfortable Place To Remove Or Change Shoes


Set up a changing station if you are planning to ask your guests to take off their shoes.

  • Maybe, you can place a stool near the front door where guests sit and change their footwear. Not having that convenient spot will be an awkward situation for you.
  • You also want to keep a few single-use slippers for guests who don’t like to go inside barefoot. It’ll also be useful when someone arrives in dirty shoes!


Consider The Type Of Event You’re Hosting


If it’s a casual meetup of friends or parents, it’s fine to ask guests take off their shoes when entering your home. But if it’s a formal event, it is definitely rude to ask this question.

Think about it: Why would someone take off those $500 Oxford shoes that look perfect with their suit?

I suggest hosting this kind of event somewhere else. If you have an outdoor space, it would more appropriate.


Always Be Polite And Gracious


Here are a couple of awkward situations you can get into:

  1. You didn’t inform your guests beforehand that you have a no-shoe policy in your home.
  2. You didn’t decide you had a no-shoe policy until someone shows up with dirty footwear.

This latter case is more serious because you want to save your flooring. But in both these cases, you have to be polite and gracious.

You don’t want to pick just one person and ask them to remove their shoes. That can be rude.

If you really want to save your flooring from their dirty shoes, say something like, “Boy, I really need to take care of that mud puddle out front. Let me take those shoes from you so you’ll be comfortable during your visit.”

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